When ‘busy-bragging’ does not apply

By Isabelle Cavazos, COLUMNIST
On March 31, 2014

 

When barely being able to balance the daily obligations that come with being a student, some might find the overflow of responsibilities seeping out with verbal explanations of their busyness
to others.

Washington Post reporter Brigid Schulte’s new book titled “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time” has inspired responses claiming those who share how busy they are do so to brag and give themselves a feeling of significance – which is in line with a finding of Ann Burnett, who studied language over time and was interviewed for the book, arguing people use busyness as a signal of status.

While some may get a strange satisfaction in sharing their level of busyness, it is dangerous to mistake all claims of busyness for what is now coined “busy-bragging,” especially when it comes to college students.

In a Slate.com post, Hanna Rosin, a writer for the Atlantic and founder of the website’s Double X section, contests that people should not discuss how busy they are at all.

However, people absorbing this sort of discouragement might actually find themselves internalizing their stress, which could ultimately lead to greater pressure to accomplish more than they reasonably have the time to do.

One cannot argue against the amount of stress many college students deal with on a regular basis. Wellness USF offers advice for stress and tips on managing time as a part of Wellness Education, which proves that busyness is a part from college life. According to the Wellness USF website, one is encouraged to communicate and share feelings with others to get emotional support and
relieve stress.

Rosin does explain how her attempt to not constantly remind herself that she was “too busy” did help her productively complete her necessary activities. While this may help one examine obligations with a clearer mind, it must be understood that busyness is relative for each person.

Many people do not need to be told the adverse health issues associated with accumulated stress, which include memory issues, chest pain, change in mood and depression, according to HelpGuide.org. If one perceives he is busy by his own judgment, then sharing it with others might help relieve the physical and emotional effects of the stresses of a hectic life.

Though these symptoms may occur even if one constantly expresses how many responsibilities they have left on their to-do list, voicing it could form solidarity and comfort with other students with the same concerns.

In addition to worrying about maintaining grades and GPA, a seemingly age-old concern many college students have is structuring their time around their work and personal commitments.

However, students must also keep in mind that their peers might be more empathetic to these troubles than those who are not college students. For the sake of not being burdensome, it is still necessary to be thoughtful of others when relaying problems.

What some call the “busy-bragging” phenomenon does not relate to college students. If anything, students have a license to share how busy they are and should not be condemned or deemed attention seeking if they do so. If one does want to extend the definition of “busy-bragging” to students, it should be in praise for their accomplishments instead of an insult.

Isabelle Cavazos is a sophomore majoring in English.

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